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Castaic students honored

Awards: Middle school’s eighth-graders receive Excellence Award

Posted: March 22, 2010 10:11 p.m.
Updated: March 23, 2010 4:55 a.m.

Castaic Middle School's student producer Cameron Crawford works on the opening for the "Sweet 16" contest entry. The school sent several students to the 2010 Student Television Network Affiliation convention at the Disneyland Hotel in Anaheim.

 
The hard-working students of CMStv, Castaic Middle School’s weekly campus-wide television broadcast, were recently awarded the prestigious Excellence Award at the 2010 Student Television Network Affiliates convention.

The award came at the end of a grueling four-day schedule at the Disneyland Hotel. Students attended classes and workshops as well as producing videos in a very short time frame, said instructor Ro Osano.

“They cheered, but you have to understand it was a tough four days,” Osano said. “They were exhausted. They’d been working ’til late at night.”

Eighth-grader Steven Clavijo said he was proud of the achievement and receiving it helped validate the effort put into producing the videos. The students attended the convention not knowing what would be in store for them.

“We were all pretty much scared,” Clavijo said. “I had never been to the STN Convention before so I really didn’t know what was going to happen or what they were going to do to us. It was a lot of pressure.”

Such an honor comes on the heels of other awards garnered by the students.

On Jan. 25, stories produced by CMStv students competed in the STN Fall Nationals competition, many taking home first and second place prizes.

Clavijo along with friend and fellow eighth-grader Eugene Doucette crafted a story titled “The Gift of Life” which won first-place feature story.

“It was basically about a blood drive and people donating blood for special causes,” Clavijo said.

Clavijo and Doucette are relatively old hats at the middle school video production game, having logged time as seventh graders in Osano’s beginning video production class.

When their story was recognized as among the best in the country, the moment was not lost on Clavijo.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe I did that,’” he said.

Usually two students work on each story, one on-camera and one behind it. Stories are generally pitched on a Monday and the pairs have about two weeks to finish it.

Balancing such a hectic schedule means the students need to think and work fast.

Such was the case for a feature story about the city of Fillmore.

“The Fillmore story was a lot of work because we had to actually go to Fillmore and we had to stay there for nearly four hours to film our stand-ups,” Doucette said.

The dedication paid off and the story merited an honorable mention in the national competition.

As an instructor, Osano encourages his students to look beyond the norm.

“The kids can do it, just for years nobody has had a large expectation of them,” he said. “Hopefully, from this course, they discover that if they push themselves they can do really good work. Not just mediocre or average work, really above average work.”

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